I smile sweetly at my parents across the table, who have resumed eating their breakfast. He has nerve. Have some respect for my parents? My teeth clench when he brushes the seam of my knickers and blows in my ear. He was losing the battle, so he saturates me with his touch to regain the power. Damn him. I squeeze my thighs together and pick up my coffee with shaking hands while he continues to wreak havoc on me with his hot breath in my ear, and my parents continue happily with their breakfast. They’ve spent time with us, and they have fast become used to Jesse’s craving for constant contact.
He pulls away and hits me with a smug, satisfied stare. Yes, he’s won now, but only because he’s absolutely right. This really isn’t the time or the place, especially with my mum and dad here. I know Jesse won’t be all that delighted by the news my mum has just disclosed, either.
‘Jesse is right, Ava.’ Dad pipes up, completely shocking me. ‘You should watch your language.’
‘Yes,’ My mum agrees quickly. ‘It’s not very ladylike.’
I don’t have to look at my husband to know his smugness has just expanded ‘Thank you, Joseph,’ His knee knocks mine under the table, and I knock him right back.
‘So when are you two honeymooning?’ Mum smiles across the table at us.
‘When my wife says so.’ Jesse replies dryly, eyeing my toast. ‘When will that be, lady?’
I nibble a corner of toast and shrug. ‘When I have time. I’ve got a lot to sort out at work. My husband knows that.’ I turn accusing eyes on him, and he grins at me. ‘What are you grinning at?’ I ask.
‘What about me?’
‘Everything about you. Your beauty, your spirit, your need to drive me insanely crazy.’ He reaches over and straightens my diamond. ‘And the fact you’re mine.’
I see my mother is my peripheral vision swaying with giddiness at my challenging man and his open need to drown me in his adoration. ‘Oh, Joseph.’ she croons. ‘Do you remember being that much in love?
‘No, I don’t.’ Dad laughs. ‘Come on, I want to get on the road.’ He brushes his mouth with his napkin and stands.
Mum doesn’t reply. She’s too busy smiling fondly across the table at us. My dad leaves the restaurant, and I turn my attention to Kate. She looks terrible, her skin looking even paler than usual and her vibrant red hair appearing dull. She’s picking at some cornflakes while Sam chats buoyantly to her, seemingly oblivious to her despondent state. It’s obvious that she’s struggling with more than just a bad head and a queasy tummy. Sam can’t be that ignorant. My eyes leave Sam and Kate and travel back across the room to Dan. He’s still staring at her.
‘You’ve noticed it, too?’ Jesse asks quietly when he’s obviously caught the direction of my gaze.
‘Yes, but I’ve been warned to mind my own business.’ I answer without taking my eyes from Dan.
‘You have, but I didn’t say you couldn’t tell your brother to back off.’
My eyes shoot to Jesse’s profile, but he ignores my shock and stands when my mum rises from the table. ‘I’ll be back soon to say my goodbyes.’ She brushes her skirt down and leaves the room, giving Kate a shoulder rub en-route. Kate smiles a little, then looks over at me, but quickly diverts her eyes elsewhere. I sigh to myself and wonder what on earth I’m going to say to my usually fiery friend. She looks in complete turmoil, but I can’t help but be mad with her.
I quickly remember what Jesse said before my mum left the table. ‘You want me to warn my brother off?’ I ask.
He looks at me carefully as he sits back down. ‘I think he needs to be told. I don’t want to upset you by doing it myself, so perhaps you should have a word with him.’
I’ve already tried to have a word, and I know it fell on deaf ears, but I won’t be telling Jesse that because it will undoubtedly prompt him to intervene. ‘I’ll speak to him.’ I put my unfinished toast back on the plate. ‘And before you start, I’m not hungry.’
‘You need to eat, baby.’ He makes a play for my breakfast again, and I slap my hand over his.
‘I’m not hungry.’ I load my voice with lashing of confidence. ‘Can we go home now?’
He shifts his hand and grips mine firmly, looking at me thoughtfully. ‘We can go home now. Come on.’
* * *
After seeing my parents off, ignoring my brother and telling Kate I’ll call her later, I’m deposited in the DBS and taken back to Lusso. My home—the place where Jesse and I will live together as husband and wife.
I open the door and step out, letting out a shocked yelp when I’m swept off my feet. ‘I have legs.’ I laugh, linking my hands over his neck.
‘And I have arms, and they were made to hold you.’ He plants a chaste kiss on my lips and kicks the car door shut before striding into the foyer of Lusso. ‘I’m putting you in our bed, and I’m not letting you out until morning.’
‘Deal.’ I agree, but he better be set for some hard action. I’m not feeling like f**king softly.
My attention moves to the concierge desk when Jesse stops abruptly and his eyes widen.
My eyes widen slightly, too. Standing behind the desk with a phone to his ear is a man—and it’s not Clive. It most certainly is not Clive. I purse my lips and grin to myself. Oh, this is going to provoke some serious possessive, trampling-like behaviour. I remain silent as I assess the situation. It doesn’t take much assessing, though. Jesse is standing in the middle of the foyer, the new concierge is still speaking on the phone, and they are both staring at each other. The new concierge’s eyes fall on me, and I almost laugh when I hear a growl emanate from Jesse. Oh good Lord, this poor man is going to get trampled to within an inch of his life. I firm up my grip on Jesse’s shoulders and wait for him to take the initiative and walk on, but he’s rooted to the spot.
‘Where’s Clive?’ he asks the new guy, disregarding his phone conversation. I wriggle a little to try and free myself, but Jesse just flips me a glare and tightens his hold. ‘Stay where you are, lady.’
‘You’re behaving like a caveman.’
‘Shut up, Ava.’ He returns burning greens of displeasure back to the poor, young concierge, who has since ended his call. ‘Clive.’ Jesse prompts shortly.
The new concierge steps out from behind the desk, and I can’t help it when my eyes naturally run the full length of him. He’s cute. His blonde hair is neatly trimmed, his brown eyes are happy, and his tall frame is lean. He’s nowhere near Jesse’s league, but he’s still a bloke and that makes him a threat—in Jesse’s world.
‘I’ll be working alongside Clive, sir. I was supposed to start my new position some time ago,’ he says warily. ‘Personal reasons delayed the commencement of my employment here.’ He walks forward and puts his hand out to Jesse. ‘I’m Casey, sir. I look forward to assisting you with anything you may… well, need assistance with.’ He shifts awkwardly.
I wriggle again to free myself, feeling like a complete idiot locked in my possessive Lord’s grasp while the new concierge introduces himself. He seems sweet and sincere enough, but Jesse isn’t letting me go.
‘Mr Ward.’ Jesse says shortly, ignoring Casey’s outstretched hand.
‘Nice to meet you, Casey.’ I put my hand out to him, but Jesse steps back. Oh for the love of God! I look at him, noting his eyes planted firmly on the young man in front of us. He’s being ridiculous. I force myself from his grip with some effort and step forward, offering my hand again. ‘Welcome to Lusso, Casey.’ I smile, and he takes my hand, shaking it mildly. The poor guy won’t come back if I don’t intervene. Clive has been here non-stop since the residents moved in. He’s no spring chicken. He needs the relief.
‘Thank you, Ava. Nice to meet you, too.’ He smiles, and it’s a cute smile, but I don’t miss the cautious look that he directs over my shoulder. ‘Oh, you’re in the penthouse?’
‘Yes, that’s us.’
‘Maintenance called to say your new front door has arrived from Italy.’
‘That’s great, thank you. ‘
‘Have maintenance fit it without delay.’ Jesse snorts.
‘Already done, sir.’ Casey smiles proudly, grabbing some keys from his desk and holding them up.’
Jesse swipes them from the poor guy’s hand before virtually throwing his car keys at him. ‘Bring the cases up.’ I’m pulled towards the elevator in an amused daze, and as I knew I would be, I’m pushed inside and then up against the mirrored wall. ‘He fancies you.’ Jessee growls.
‘You think everyone fancies me.’
‘That is because they do. But you’re mine.’ He slams his lips to mine and takes me fiercely, pushing me up the wall with the pressure of his body. I’m delighted. This is not gentle Jesse. This is powerful, forceful, dominant Jesse, and I’m bracing myself for a f**k to make up for all the ones I’ve been missing out on. I throw my arms around his shoulders and tackle him with as much force—probably more.
‘I’m yours.’ I pant between hard lashes of his tongue.
‘You don’t need to reassure me.’ His hand feels up my leg and cups me harshly, triggering hot wetness to invade me and an excited thud to attack my core. I really need this. His finger slips past the seam of my lace. ‘Wet.’ he purrs into my mouth. ‘Just for me. Understand?’
‘I understand.’ My muscles grip his finger as he enters me. ‘More.’ I beg unashamedly. I need more.
He separates our mouths and withdraws his finger, re-entering with two. ‘Like that?’ He pushes hard and high. ‘Like that, Ava?’
My head falls back against the mirror, my mouth gaped, my eyes closed. ‘Just like that.’
‘Or would you prefer my c**k slamming into you?’ His voice is carnal and a massive surprise, given his delicate approach to my body in recent weeks. If this is the effect that Casey will have on my Lord, then I hope he stays forever. I’m being claimed and reminded of who I belong to—not that I ever need a reminder, but I’ll always take it. I drop my head and find his greens, then reach forward and slip the buttons of his fly free, before sliding my hand into his boxers and wrapping my palm around his hot, throbbing cock. He pulls in a short breath. ‘You haven’t answered my question.’
‘I want this.’ I squeeze his base and draw a long stroke to the tip. ‘I want you inside me.’
He sweeps one last circle with his fingers before removing them and lifting me to his body, my legs wrapping around his waist, my hands seeking out his nape. ‘I knew you were a sensible girl.’ The elevator doors open, I’m carried out into the penthouse foyer, where the door is opened without delay, and we’re quickly on our way upstairs to the master suite. ‘You make me a desperate f**king mess, Ava.’ I’m placed on the edge of the bed and my dress is pulled up over my head quickly before he yanks his t-shirt off, kicks his Converse to the side and pushes his jeans down his legs, taking his white boxers with them. He really is desperate, and I’m all the more delighted for it. He’s going to f**k me.
I’m pushed back onto the bed and my knickers are pulled down my legs, my bra disposed of just as quickly. He’s working fast, but it’s still not quick enough. My impatience is my undoing—that and his glorious nakedness looming over me. I need to touch him. I sit up and slide my hands around his solid arse and pull him forward so he’s standing between my spread thighs, his lower stomach at my eyelevel. Placing my lips gently in his abdomen, I trail kisses across to his scar, but it doesn’t make me wince anymore. It’s a massive imperfection, a mar on his beautiful body, but it just makes him all the more perfect to me. My perfect imperfect Adonis. My God. My husband.